The last New Farmer Training was a draft horse workshop at New Beat Farm. They do a vegetable and flower CSA; same as what we do at Broadturn Farm. This was definately a topic I knew little about and was just trying to take it all in. I think one of the most impressive parts was that Adrienne and Ken; the farmers at New Beat, have only being doing this together with horses for three years. I love that they just went for it and made it happen.
They gave us a farm tour and a demo with their horses. I can certainly see the benefits, sound, not using fossil fuels, narrower beds, deeper connection to your land through animals. On the other end tractors are beneficial because you don’t have to feed them when you’re not using them, or work them out, and it only takes the turn of a key to start instead of harnesses.
I think what it comes down to is making the best decision for yourself and the land that you are on. I did really like seeing all the ‘antique’ farm equipment in use. Ken was saying he was buying some from an antique dealer who wanted to charge him a lot for it. When Ken told him he was going to use the implement to farm the guy gave it to him along with another piece of equipment he had. There is something to be said for tradition. Something we can all appreciate.
Oh, and just picture those winter sleigh rides…